Often times we reach back into the past to get our inspiration. With today’s featured act, that definitely seems to be the case, as they produce tunes that are firmly rooted in 60’s pop. It’s Psychomagic!
Psychomagic is a Portland, OR-based psych-influenced group who makes catchy pop tunes. They can play ‘em fast ("I Wanna Be That Man") or they can slow ‘em down ("Play The Fool"), but no matter how they play, it always sounds raw, building on that 60’s influence. The keys (whether a Rhodes tone or an organ tone) play a prominent role throughout their self-titled debut album. The guitar tones have a nice layer of reverb, some slap back delay here and there, and for the most part there isn’t too much distortion, although there are times when it gets crunchy. All in all, a good listen for any fans of 60’s or 70’s psychedelic pop/rock.
You can grab that self-titled record of Psychomagic’s on Bandcamp, and if you’re in Portland, OR, you can likely go catch them live sometime. The best way to keep up with that would be on their Facebook page. I’m assuming they’ll be taking a little break as they just got back from a West Coast tour that saw them go as far as Phoenix, AZ (which isn’t really on the West Coast, but whatever, semantics). Either way, I’m sure you’ll be able to catch them soon — and if not, we’ll probably feature some live coverage of them eventually.
So, the track today is “Mutated Love”, and it’s one of my favorites off Psychomagic’s LP. It’s one of the more piano-driven tunes off the record, based around an infectious organ riff. The drums are an interesting case as they are heavily focused on snare rolls, but they’re nicely mixed so they don’t end up being obnoxious. Subtle delay on the vocals helps create an atmosphere that’s haunting yet dreamy. Form-wise it keeps true to pop songs and is structured in a no-nonsense fashion — verse, chorus, verse, chorus, instrumental break, chorus — and kudos to them for recognizing that the tune was catchy enough not to overdo. The guitar work on this track, while not the main focus, plays its role with utmost precision, swirling around with a bit of a phase, arpeggiated at times, ringing out when needed — essentially providing a balance for the keys and making for a tune that really works.
You can find “Mutated Love” as well as the rest of this month’s featured tracks on the free download of the GB! April 2014 Mixtape, the latest in our monthly mixtape series. Come back and get it on April 30!